Stay healthy for finals, get vaccinated

Dear Valpo students,

As temperatures fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that transmission of both the H1N1 and seasonal flu will become more likely. Valparaiso University encourages students to protect themselves and their classmates by getting their H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccinations before Thanksgiving to help stay healthy for the final weeks of the semester. Students can get vaccinated at the Health Center weekdays from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

The CDC has designated the following high-priority groups to receive the H1N1 vaccination: people 24 years of age or younger, pregnant women, parents or siblings of infants less than six months of age, and people older than 24 with certain chronic medical conditions. The seasonal flu vaccination is recommended for everyone. The H1N1 vaccination is free while the seasonal flu vaccination is $20.

Pneumococcal vaccine also is recommended for certain individuals during the current H1N1 outbreak. Target populations for this vaccine include adults age 19 to 64 who have asthma or smoke cigarettes, and people age 2 to 64 who have one or more chronic health problems. Students may receive the pneumococcal vaccine at the Health Center for $40.

All undergraduate, graduate and law students - those living on campus as well as commuter students - who think they may have the flu are strongly encouraged to complete an online self-assessment, reporting and meal delivery request form available at: Students with flu-like symptoms should return home or isolate themselves in their rooms until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

More information about how to prevent the flu and flu vaccinations may be obtained by calling the Health Center, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, at 219-464-5060.


Toni Baldwin-Dufour

Director, Valparaiso University Health Center